About junipervanwess

Junior at Byron High, aspiring writer, swim team member

Best Prom Theme: What’s Your Vote?

Hey everyone!  It’s Juniper again!  This time I’m writing for business, not pleasure-if my last post even counts as pleasurable.  You see, as a senior member of the Student Planning Committee, I have to plan next year’s major school events.  So I thought I would start by planning Homecoming, maybe give a few suggestions for Winter activities, and move on into Spring Fling.  Apparently, this is unacceptable because we are supposed to focus on the last and most important event of the school year first: Prom.

Look, I have no problem with prom, OK?  It’s an unofficial right of passage for our middle-class tribe.  We dress like wealthy, mature adults, and then act like a clan of Bonobos.  There’s nothing wrong with that (unless you don’t like to communicate through groin-rubbing), however, do we really have to plan sooooo far ahead?

Well, my concerns were overruled by the rest of the committee.  My friend Justin, who I thought would defend me, was actually the most vocal on the importance of prom and mentioned how bad our high school has been at picking themes. I at least agree with him on this point.The “Sarah Palin” theme in ’09 was really weird, the “Book of Job” theme was nauseating, the “Right to Bare Arms” theme I’m pretty sure was incredibly illegal, and the “Abstinence” theme last year was just awkward. I’ve heard those themes were all chosen by Mrs. Dillard, who died last year.  She was 91.

“Book of Job Prom” theme = creepiest night ever

Well, if we’re raising that bar, we better make it a class-act.  So I suggested “The Four Seasons.”  People could wear dresses inspired by the different seasons, and we could have the school orchestra playing Vivaldi’s Spring as everyone’s coming in, and progress musically through the different seasons throughout the night!

The response was not enthusiastic.  I suggested an informal prom.  That suggestion unleashed a tidal wave of wrath and indignation upon me for daring to desecrate the holy purpose of prom with the idea of an informal dance.  So, I said I’d think on it a few days, and decided to open it up to the people of Byron City (and beyond) for ideas. I hope I don’t regret this.

So what do you think would be a good theme for prom?


Tips for Gross Teenage Boys

OK so mom wants me to practice my writing.  She said I should write on the Byron blog about something I feel strongly about.  I think she was hoping I’d write about organic food for the school cafeteria, but if people want to eat pink slime, that’s their own choice.

I’ve got a topic I think we can all relate to: guys.

I chose the word “guys” after careful deliberation.  “Men” was too mature.  “Boys” was also not good because like my mom says, if we infantilize a group with labels, they will live up to that label (or down to it), and I don’t want to make things any worse. “Guys” seems like the best compromise. Also, when I say “guys,” it is possible that I am speaking of one “guy” who sits behind me in 3rd period tapping on my chair in Morse code.  Yes, I know Morse code and no, I don’t care if you think my dress makes me look fat.

So I have a short list of question for Rya-err, “guys.”

1. Why don’t you bathe?

I am pretty sure you know how to turn a faucet on and off.  I’ve seen you fill enough water balloons.  Maybe the problem is you think that’s how you’re supposed to get clean too.  No, please stand under running water for at least 90 seconds.

2. Why do you throw spit-balls at your female classmates?

spit ballI know there’s probably some evolutionary reason for it-like it’s some part of an ancient primate mating ritual or something-but in case you hadn’t noticed, we sport opposable thumbs and a lot less back hair than gorillas.  Could you please, maybe try talking to a girl instead of throwing something nasty at her and high-fiving your friends?

3. Why are you wearing FUBU?  Do you even know what it means?


No, just…no.

Wait, I think I know.  On a sheltered kid like you it means “I have no identity, but I can afford to buy someone else’s.” Try that manufactured culture in the inner city and see how far it gets you.

4. Why do you hang stuffed animals outside a female-of-the-same-age’s window?

Perhaps you were trying to make a statement on our mass consumption of animal products without personalizing where that meat comes from.  If so, then it was actually pretty good.  But still, empty glass eyes looking at you when you get up in the morning does not put one at ease. It just looks creepy…though I do appreciate that you didn’t use any real animals.

5. Why do you leave messages in binary code on my locker?

I have Google translator at home.  It doesn’t do binary yet, but you know it’s only so long 00100001

6. Why aren’t you more like a particular young man in the same grade as you?

For his own privacy just in case he’s reading this, I won’t name names, but I will tell you that this particular guy bathes like a normal person (bonus for cologne!), speaks to females his own age without awkwardness (they like talking to him too!  No spit-balls needed!), doesn’t try to buy other people’s culture, gives stuffed animals as gifts to someone on their birthday in person (loved the ballerina bear!), and writes notes in ENGLISH that we can pass back and forth between class.  I tell you all this to give you an example of a real man.

So “guys,” can you give me an answer?  One that doesn’t involve being creepy or primitive?